Law Reform

Shoalcoast Community Legal Centre works to positively change laws and policies for the benefit of our clients.

Shoalcoast examines existing laws and policies and find where they disadvantage our clients. We then advocate for systemic change.

We regularly make submissions to parliamentary inquiries on various issues to ensure the voices of our clients in remote and regional areas are heard by the law makers in Federal and State Government.

What is Law Reform?

Law Reform is the process of identifying unjust and unfair laws, and working to amend them.

Why is Shoalcoast involved with Law Reform?

Shoalcoast Community Legal Centre is committed to assisting the development and improvement of legislation that directly affects our clientele.

What are our Law Reform Goals?

  • Identify laws and policies that are unjust, especially those that affect socially and economically disadvantaged groups
  • Encourage attention to, and discussion of these laws in the broader community
  • Lobby for changes to these laws and their operation
  • Lobby for change to any inequitable policies and practices of government agencies and other institutions

What have we done?

In the last 20 years we have been involved in over 77 law reform submissions, on the many topics, such as:

  • Unfair dismissal in the small business sector
  • The Family Law System
  • Unpaid entitlements
  • Work Choices Legislation
  • Child sexual assault in Aboriginal Communities
  • The Care and Protection Act
  • The health, welfare and education of Regional and Remote Aboriginal Communities
  • The Stolen Generation
  • The Fines Act

Our recent law reform submissions

Some of our recent submissions include:

  • 2021 Submission to Audit office of NSW into Police Responses to Domestic and Family Violence
  • 2021 Submission to the Join Select Committee on Coercive Control
  • 2021 Submission to the Senate Inquiry – Lessons to be Learned in Relation to the Australian Bushfire Season 2019 – 20
  • 2020 Submission to the NSW Independent Bushfire Inquiry
  • 2020 Submission to the Royal Commission into National Disaster Arrangements
  • 2020 Submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Economics regarding Unlawful Underpayment of Employees’ Remuneration
  • 2020 Submission to the Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System
  • 2018 Submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission Family Law System Review
  • 2018 Submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee regarding the proposed mergers of the Federal Circuit and Family Law Court
  • 2016 Submission to the Reparations for the Stolen Generations in New South Wales Inquiry

Shoalcoast also contributes and endorses submissions made by our peak body, CLCNSW and other organisations in the sector, these include:

  • Amendments to the Fines Act 1996 (NSW)
  • Consent in relation to Sexual Assault
  • Decriminalisation of Abortion in NSW
  • Care and Protection
  • Family Violence
  • Sector Funding

Shoalcoast also meets with our local members of Parliament to discuss and advocate for improvements to policy and legislation.

Our most recent venture was our participation in the CLCNSW Roadshow to NSW Parliament.

In January 2020 we meet with the NSW Attorney General, the Hon Mark Speakman SC at our Nowra Office to discuss the impact of the recent bushfires on our community and how are we are further servicing their needs.

Our Services

Free Legal Advice

Got a legal issue? Need help understanding legal documents? Unsure where you stand legally? Find out how Shoalcoast can help you.

Law Reform

Shoalcoast Community Legal Centre works to positively change laws and policies for the benefit of our clients.

Community Legal Education

As part of our mission to make law more accessible to all, Shoalcoast offers Community Legal Education (CLE) to groups of community workers and members.


A variety of resources and factsheets to assist you and ensure that anyone can access help when they need it.